The Appeal in Krasnoyarsk Confirmed the Sentence of Aleksandr Filatov - 6 Years in Prison for Faith in Jehovah GodKrasnoyarsk Territory
On July 20, 2023, a panel of judges of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Court, chaired by Tatyana Lukyanova, upheld the verdict against 38-year-old Aleksandr Filatov. The father of two young children has already been transferred to the penal colony No. 31 in the village Industrialniy (Krasnoyarsk).
Filatov was convicted on charges of "organizing the activity of a banned extremist organization", but in fact for discussing the Bible with his fellow believers. He still maintains being not guilty of extremism and has the right to appeal the verdict in cassation procedure. In his appeal, the believer stated that the court violated his rights guaranteed by Article 28 of the RF Constitution: "I committed the actions underlying the conviction within the framework of freedom of religion."
The defense pointed out that the court did not apply the explanations of the Plenum of the RF Supreme Court, according to which believers have the right to hold meetings for worship if they do not contain signs of extremism. Aleksandr Filatov stated: "The presence of extremist goals and motives in my actions has not been proven. The verdict does not quote any extremist statements."
The persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia has been going on for more than six years and is gaining momentum, despite condemnation from the world community. In the Krasnoyarsk Territory alone, 30 believers are facing criminal prosecution for their faith. Almost half of them were already sentenced: five have been sent to a penal colony, four have been given suspended sentences, and three have been fined.